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Title: Symptom of the post-political : terrorism in Contemporary German, British and Hollywood Cinema
Author: Thom, Maren
ISNI:       0000 0004 5360 0990
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis investigates the ways representations of terrorism in Hollywood, German and British cinema embody what Slavoj Žižek describes as the postpolitical, that is the current state of denial of alternatives within global politics and a directionlessness within cultural theory, which set in after the apparent defeat of the possibility of a radical alternative to capitalism. Moreover, this thesis proposes that films about terrorism are not only cultural expressions of the post-political, but also show the post-political condition to be problematic, displaying as they do symptoms such as the devaluation of human subjectivity and its concomitant failure to achieve progressive political change. Žižek’s philosophical approach as a method of interpreting the postpolitical is applied to the films Munich (2005), Zero Dark Thirty (2012) The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008) Die Kommenden Tage/The Coming Days, (2010) Four Lions (2010) and Hunger (2008). As well as Žižek’s work, the writings of other critics and commentators and such as Frank Furedi, Thomas Elsaesser, Kenan Malik and others are drawn on. The aesthetic and formal properties of these films are read against Žižek’s texts on ideology critique, which are primarily directed at the post-political. The films shown exhibit expressions of the post-political in notions of empathy and sustainability, campness, and postmodern forms of narrative, which Žižek calls filling in gaps, and Žižek’s concept of ‘the act’. By mapping the post-political in Hollywood, British and German cinema this research assays the manner in which screen terrorism is symptomatic of the post-political condition.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Film ; Terrorism in film ; Post-political ; Slavoj Žižek